James Cauty's 1:87-scale police state
JAMs and KLF pioneer creates "twisted model village experience" populated by 5000 policemen
Humbrol paint and German model-railway figures aren't often the go-to materials for the subversive artist. Yet Jimmy Cauty, the 56-year-old creative perhaps best known as one half of The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu and The KLF, has used these very things in a huge work that depicts an imagined Britain as a police state.
The Aftermath Dislocation Principle is a 1:78-scale model landscape, depicting a square mile of Britain, ravaged and devoid of almost all inhabitants, save for around 5000 policemen. Cauty's gallery, L-13, characterises the work as "a kind of bizarre twisted model village experience, where Cauty continues his fascination with subversion, consumerism and entertainment through creative exploration and dark humour."
As the artist himself explained to the BBC, his piece is "about when the police take over completely. It's a totalitarian state, they've arrested everybody and now they're standing around wondering what to do."
In the report he goes onto explain how he had to buy thousands of German model railway worker figures, rework them with pieces culled from British police models, and then paint the miniatures accordingly.
It isn't the first time Cauty has turned his hand to miniaturised law enforcement. His 2011, A Riot in a Jam Jar, set model dioramas of civil conflict under a series of jars, while the artist's obsession with law enforcement dates back to at least 1988, when he had fellow KLF founder, Bill Drummond, listed Cauty's American Ford Galaxie Police Car, as a co-writer on their number one single, Doctorin' the Tardis.
While we don't entirely share Cauty's fears of a police state, we certainly admire his dedication, vision and not least his handiwork. The Aftermath Dislocation Principle opens in L-13's east London space tomorrow, and remains on display until October 20. Find out more here. And for more on artists operating outside the traditional art world constraints, take a look at our Wild Art book, which includes other examples of miniature art alongside work free of boundaries of traditional gallery constraints. And if you're in London tomorrow (Tuesday) come to the ICA to hear the Wild Art authors in conversation - details here.